Casa Colina boasts a beautiful rural setting in which horses and cows alike graze amidst our scenic beauty. However, at Casa Colina, our horses aren’t just for show—they are an important part of your treatment team. Each of our horses are emotionally intelligent animals and can help our therapists and clients uncover emotional incongruence. With equine therapy for addiction, our clients can partake in the healing needed to create sustainable change.
What is Equine Therapy?
Equine Therapy is an alternative therapy that uses horse interactions to guide individuals through emotional and behavioral issues. Also known as Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT), or Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAPT or EAP), Equine-Assisted Therapy was originally utilized to help those suffering from mental health disorders and trauma, however in recent years expanded to other areas such as addiction. Equine-Assisted Therapy does not necessarily mean riding the horse. During a session clients will engage the horse in a number of ways for a therapist to observe and provide feedback.
Equine therapy has been shown to increase distress tolerance, reduce trauma symptoms, and increase therapeutic breakthroughs. Our trained equine therapists run groups every week so that each client has the opportunity to take part in this healing practice.
Learn the story behind Equine Therapy at Casa Colina.
What Happens in an Equine Therapy Session?
At Casa Colina, we will never make you do something you are uncomfortable with. While there are those who can find it difficult or scary to be close to large animals such as horses, they are kind, gentle, and patient. During a session, all of our clients are closely supervised by our Therapists who are trained in safety and highly experienced with our horses. For those participating in our equine programming, no experience with horses are needed.
During each session, our Equine Therapists will guide you in spending time with the horse. Individuals will be able to groom the horse and participate in activities that foster the horse’s well-being. In providing for an animal, it can help individuals understand the necessary component of one’s own care. Interacting with our horses can create grounding and provide stability in who you are as a person without your addiction.
Equine Therapy for Addiction
As an experiential therapy, Equine Therapy not only benefits mental health disorders, dual diagnosis disorders, and addiction, but it also has a number of other benefits when combined with our other modalities and addiction treatment services that can include:
- Stress reduction
- Lowered blood pressure
- The ability to understand social cues
- The ability to feel present in the moment
- The ability to manage emotions better
- The ability to become more present and self-sufficient
- Improved overall health
Bonding with our horses during Equine Therapy can also help our clients combat their mental roadblocks by communicating on a nonverbal level. Our clients who take part in equine therapy also begin to experience spiritual healing, and have a greater connection to the earth and those around them. At Casa Colina, we’re not a one-size-fits-all approach. With equine therapy, each individual receives the opportunity to take part in numerous modalities and find which one benefits them.